Wednesday, October 31, 2007

VirtualBox - the VMware alternative

Yesterday I have discovered VirtualBox. In short, VirtualBox is yet another virtualization package. It provides more or less the same function as VMware, Xen, Qemu and VirtualPC. At the moment it is happily running a FreeBSD world build as a guest on my Fedora 8 workstation. I cannot say that my testing of this product is complete, as far as first impressions go, this is fairly favorable. Out of the features Lets split these impressions into three usual categories.

The Good:
  • Support virtualization extensions of the modern CPUs
  • Seems less I/O intensive then VMware
  • Works on FreeBSD
The Bad:
  • The GUI is somewhat clunky
  • No script to automatically configure the kernel module and network
The Ugly:
  • In order to activate the kernel module, I had to guess the location of the module source and run make && make install from CLI.
  • In order to activate bridged networking I had to manually configure ethernet bridging
  • Once the VM crashed without any reason
  • Sometimes FreeBSD guest seems to have some problems with the virtual CPU.
Overall the experience was not all bad. There are some things which I think can be smoother, but it works. Good luck to the developers.

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